Through the Door Week 21

Ruth Bancroft Gardens-Walnut Creek CA

This year’s record rainfall means a stellar year for cacti and succulents. Friday, I visited the Ruth Bancroft Gardens, a private collection of cactus and succulents that is open to the public. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the photos speak for themselves.

What Came Through the Door Fourth Week of January

Cornerstone Sonoma

For a year, I’ve passed by a place called “Cornerstone” idly wondering what it was.  Last Saturday, I finally went on a fact finding expedition.  Basically, it is a tourist destination: a restaurant, four wine tasting rooms, and two high end gift stores.

It’s the gardens that make Cornerstone a worthwhile place to spend an afternoon. There are twenty plots; each the size of a triple office cubicle. Every plot contains a garden designed by famous landscape architects from the United States, Europe, and Asia. Naturally, I didn’t have my pocket Nikon Coolpix with me.  I had to make do with the camera on my cell phone.

Graphic Cornerstone, Sonoma
Daisy Windmill Farm

Graphic of Cornerstone Garden Mini Vinyard
Cornerstone Garden: Mini Vineyard

Graphic of Cornerstone garden with rosemary and century plants
Circular Garden featuring rosemary and century plants

Graphic of Cornerstone Garden
Cornerstone: Century Plant Forest

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Cornerstone Garden Tunnel Walk

 

January 2018 Third Week

Sonoma Fires Three Months Later

Our neighbor across the way who lost the house he recently owned in the Fountain Grove area of Santa Ana, took several of us on a little tour of the fire damage.  After three months, recovery is slow because of all the hazardous toxins that must be removed from the soil.  Nature is doing her part to soften the damage by regrowth, nevertheless the damage remains stark.

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Tour Guide and Former Home Owner

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Remains of Hilton Fountain Grove

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Once upon this was the largest K-Mart in Sonoma County

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What’s left of a beautiful two-story house

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Clearing out, clearing up

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More clearing and cleaning

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New definition of “scenic”